Tech entrepreneurs Glenn Clayton and Patrick Cooney have established Mark Two Ventures in Nashville and announced their first seed investment — $1 million with Astound Research of Alabama.
The firm describes itself as a venture studio, and it provides both seed capital and product development, software engineering and design support for new startups.
Within 18 months, Cooney told the Post, Mark Two plans to have 10-12 new investments at $1 million each. The firm is targeting only startups located in the Southeast. Cooney described the firm’s hypothetical target attributes as pre-revenue or pre-launch, a founder with serious experience in its industry and software-as-a-service and tech-enabled businesses (though he said their investments will be “industry-agnostic”).
The founders are from Alabama (both later spent time working in New York City) but chose Nashville as a base because of its central location in the region, talent pool, “excellent regulatory environment” and culture. Clayton’s experience as a tech entrepreneur has come at Appleton and Spur, while Cooney has been involved in building Blink Health and Simpeo.
“Many people think what’s holding back startups in the South is a lack of capital, but we don’t think that’s true, or at least it’s not the primary factor,” Clayton said in a release. “The biggest asset that founders in markets like New York and San Francisco have is access to a deep network of experienced talent who know the playbook on how you build and scale startups the right way. That’s exactly what we want to offer to startups in the South.”